No matter the stage …
… or the age …
… a mother’s love is universal, human or otherwise. I’m sure we will all identify with this quote:
“The power of a mother’s love is greater than any force on earth.” – Anonymous
I was on baby watch in the month of April.
It all began with a trip to Heritage Park on Saturday, April 2nd. While walking around that park’s man-made pond, a/k/a Coan Lake, I discovered a Mama Goose sitting on a nest. nestled in the boulders near the covered bridge. I shared those photos in a Wordless Wednesday post entitled “Stone Age Goose”.
At the time I mused that this was not the comfiest of spots to be sitting for a month’s duration, but I recalled another Canada Goose sitting on a nest in the same location last year – perhaps the same Mama Goose?
My Easter eggs were a treat, but were neither chocolate nor cream-filled.
April 17th was Easter Sunday and I visited this venue again. I follow the Botanical Gardens on Facebook and they were touting their newly planted Spring flowers. I thought I’d take photos of those cheery Daffodils, Hyacinths and Tulips to contrast with any photos of the several inches of snow we were to receive the very next day.
Easter Sunday was very chilly and windy. Unbelievably I was the only one walking at this popular venue. I decided to check on Mama Goose and strolled over to her rocky perch. Imagine my surprise, not to mention my delight, to see Mama off the nest, stretching her legs and having a drink of water. She didn’t notice me as I stood under the covered bridge and evidently Papa Goose was not around.
I took a few shots of the nest from the bridge, then inched ever so slowly toward the unattended nest. Mama Goose saw me, but paid me no mind as she picked her way around the boulders. I could not believe the size of the eggs. I took my shots then slowly walked backward so I could continue watching the nest and Mama’s movements.
She approached the nest and began plucking at her downy feathers, letting them drift gently into and around the nest.
She bent down close to the nest – was she counting noses, er … future beaks?
After a few minutes, she plopped down and began her incubating duties anew.
I never did see Papa Goose – no telling where he was, but I was pleased to be able to get close to Mama and the nest and marveled at my good fortune in arriving at just the right time.
The next day, as predicted, we had a wintry mix bringing snow throughout Southeast Michigan. In my part of town, we received two inches of the white stuff. I worried about Mama – would she be okay?
Oh no – did Mama Goose just vamoose?
Friday morning, April 22nd was Earth Day and I made another 10-mile round trip visit to Heritage Park. I was dismayed to discover Mama and the nest had vanished from the boulders without a trace. I didn’t even see eggshells from where the hatchlings had emerged!
Quickly, I searched Coan Lake and the sloped grassy area around its perimeter. I took two tours of the historical area and didn’t see the little family. Past experience told me that the parents and their young goslings would not stray far from the water and seeing no sign of them was worrisome. I drove to Council Point Park to get in some more steps and feed the critters there, but in the back of my mind I worried about the welfare of this little goose family.
The next day, Saturday, April 23rd, was a volunteer clean-up event at Heritage Park, so I waited until Sunday to see if I could find the family.
Happily, everyone was present and accounted for – whew!
Well, there they were, lemon-yellow fuzzballs clustered around Mama, dining on dandelions and looking very sweet.
Here are my favorite shots from that day.
I especially liked this one of Mama watching over her brood – all you see is the shadow of her head and neck looming large.
I couldn’t resist and made another trip.
I returned again last Saturday, April 30th. It was a day as gray, gloomy, windy and cold as one could find in Spring. I had planned to go to Lake Erie Metropark but the gray day and impending rain stopped me from driving out to that venue. I was amazed to see how the goslings had grown in one week’s time. While happily taking way too many photos of them, I even got “the stare” and what could pass for a “mini hiss” from a couple of goslings. How quickly they learn to imitate their parents!
Although these photos below may not convey their newfound attitudes, are you able to tell how the goslings have grown?
While I was on baby watch, my blogging friend Barbara, was similarly chronicling the status of her Mama Goose who was sitting on a nest in Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center in Mystic, Connecticut. We compared notes and enjoyed the anticipation of the respective hatchlings and first glimpses of those goslings which brought many clicks of the shutter and smiles galore to each of us.
Happy Mother’s Day!